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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ustaz says ‘sorry’, promises never to insult Hindus again

Ustaz Shahul Hamid Seeni Mohd says  he never meant to be offensive when he had told his audience not to buy curry powder from 'Hindu companies' four years ago. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, July 31, 2014.Ustaz Shahul Hamid Seeni Mohd says he never meant to be offensive when he had told his audience not to buy curry powder from 'Hindu companies' four years ago. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, July 31, 2014.
Embattled Muslim preacher Ustaz Shahul Hamid Seeni Mohd spoke today and reiterated that he never meant to insult Indians or Hindus in his ceramah four years ago.
The preacher from Penang said at a press conference he never meant to be offensive when he had told his audience not to buy curry powder from "Hindu companies", such as Alagappa's and Baba's.
In his speech four years ago, he had also made fun of the statue of a Hindu deity at the premises of an Alagappa's factory in Bukit Mertajam.
"I only wanted to attract the attention of my audience," he told a press conference at the Seberang Prai Tengah district mosque today after having his statement recorded by police.
Shahul incurred the wrath of the Hindu community after a video recording of him insulting Hindus was uploaded onto YouTube.
Yesterday, MIC Youth and several non-governmental organisations staged a protest in Brickfields, calling on the authorities to act against him.
In George Town yesterday, some 30 people representing MIC, PPP and several Hindu NGOs lodged police reports against him.
In the recording, Shahul had said: "If you go to the Alagappa's factory near Permatang Pauh, you will see a statue (goddess) at the entrance, and the tongue is out. Why is the tongue out? Because the goddess must taste all the curry powder before they sell it."
In a statement yesterday, MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel also took Shahul to task, telling the preacher that it is not his "job" to criticise the Hindu faith.
Shahul posted an apology to Hindus and Malaysians on his Facebook page and released a video clip apologising for the remark.
Shahul reiterated that he did not know that the ceramah, which took place "a long time ago", was recorded.
He said he also did not know that it would be uploaded.
"I sincerely and openly apologise for the remarks that might have insulted Hindus or the Indian community and others. I assure you that this will never happen again... this is the last time.”
He said he was aware of his Indian ancestry.
“I am willing to meet with Indian community leaders to explain myself.
"I also hope that the police reports against me will be retracted and I will not face any legal action.
"I hope I will be given the chance to make amends," he said.
Shahul also said he never spoke as a PAS member when he made the remarks.
"When I give ceramah, I do it as a preacher, not a PAS member. I don't hold any party positions.
"I don't know why it is an issue? Why link this to a political party?"
Shahul also said he had received death threats through the phone and on his Facebook page since the video went viral. He said he has lodged a police report about it.
- TMI

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